Local Authorities

  • Local authorities are uniquely positioned to ensure that London is adapted to climate change and extreme weather
  • The public regards local authorities as having an essential role in terms of planning for, and responding to extreme weather and climate change

Local authorities have a crucial role to play in adapting London to climate change. The land estates and services of these organisations are already extensively affected by extreme weather, and we expect to see this increase in frequency and intensity in relation to the change in climate. Not only are local authorities affected, but as a major service provider, they are also well placed to take the lead in ensuring London and its communities are well adapted to extreme weather.

London’s borough authorities have a range of tools to hand which can help reduce the long-term impacts of extreme weather events and boost community resilience. Opportunities exist in many service areas including emergency and business continuity planning, highways management, public health, development and building control, and green space management. Planning powers in particular are a significant tool that will ensure that the lifetime of a building is considered and is suitably prepared for future climate change.

Many adaptation actions also provide co-benefits – for example green spaces improve health and wellbeing levels, whilst retrofitting social housing helps vulnerable residents save money on fuel bills and are well protected against overheating.

Not only are local authorities well placed to ensure that London is adapted to climate change, they are also regarded by Londoners as important organisations in the face of an extreme weather event. LCCP and London Councils commissioned a survey of 1,000 Londoners across all boroughs asking residents questions about their own experiences and which agencies or organisations they look to for help preparing for and recovering from extreme weather. The headline findings of this survey are as follows:

  • Local authorities were identified as the agency most people thought responsible for planning and preparing for extreme weather, with over two thirds of respondents saying that they would go to their local authority first for advice and support.
  • A majority of people were concerned about extreme weather, with winter cold snaps and heatwaves identified the top two issues.
  • Two thirds of people said they look to their local authority both for help preparing for extreme weather and for help recovering after an extreme weather event.
  • 85 per cent of people would be willing, or would consider visiting a vulnerable neighbour in the event of a flood or heat-wave.
  • 60 per cent of people would be willing or would consider registering for mobile phone text alerts for extreme weather, with younger people being more keen on this option than older people.

For a full copy of the survey findings click here

London Councils, The City of London Corporation, London Environment Coordinators Forum (LECF) and the Mayor of London are all partners of the LCCP and help to inform our perspective and work programme.

Further information

London Councils have provided an overview of Extreme Weather in London for its members

Climate Local is a new initiative to drive, inspire and support council action on carbon reduction and climate resilience.

Climate UK as part of the Planning and Climate Change Coalition, contributed to Planning for Climate Change – Guidance for Local Authorities